Lent Daybook, 9: Delivered

Lent Daybook, 9: Delivered

Welcome to a Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. Click through the link to see the full post.

Look: Crossing the Red Sea, Todor Mitrovic - Source

Listen: “The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow” from Shine for All the People, Mike Farris - Spotify | YouTube

Read: Psalm 40, 54; Deuteronomy 10:12-22; Hebrews 4:11-16; John 3:22-36

Pray: adapted from Psalm 40:10

Do: Spend 15 minutes in silence. Reflect prayerfully on the previous week.

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Lent Daybook, 3: Rabbi (Teacher)

Lent Daybook, 3: Rabbi (Teacher)

Welcome to a Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. Click through the title link to see the full post.

Look: The Washing of the Feet, Cerezo Barredo - Source

Listen: “Come and Listen” from A Collision, David Crowder Band - Spotify | YouTube | Lyrics

Read: Psalm 32; Deuteronomy 7:12-16; Titus 2:1-15; John 1:35-42

Pray: adapted from Psalm 32:8

Do: Sit in silence for 5 minutes, praying only the Jesus Prayer

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Advent Daybook, 12: Trust and Do Good

Advent Daybook, 12: Trust and Do Good

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: A violinist plays in the rubble of Jonah’s tomb, Muhammad Hamed (source)

Listen: “Carol of the Birds” from Christmas Songs, Fernando Ortega

Read: Psalm 37, Isaiah 7:1-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Luke 22:1-13

Pray: “God of timeless grace, you fill us with joyful expectation. Make us ready for the message that prepares the way, that with uprightness of heart and holy joy we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.” (Revised Common Lectionary Prayers)

Do: Help Syrian farmers dig out from war and drought.

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It is finished: Wendy Wall [Retrieve Lament]

(You can read all of this week's stories of lament here.)

Jesus gave us a litany of last words as a Sufferer; we refer to them as the Seven Last Words of Christ. The deathbed words of the Suffering Servant provide a framework for the stories of lament I'll be sharing here this Holy Week.

I count it a high privilege to know -- at least in a small part -- the writers of the mourning stories I'll be sharing now through Holy Saturday. Their stories have helped form me in my understanding of suffering and I believe they could also encourage you too. Today's guest is a friend from all the way back in high school. While we have not seen each other in person for many years, we've enjoyed being able to reconnect online - two small-town, Christian-school girls, who married and had kids young, and are now, at our very young ages, are entering the season of an empty nest at the same time.

In hindsight I recall a sense of "deep calling to deep" even when we were young, and now from across the country (literally - Connecticut to Alaska), there is still that resonance. I've been honored to watch Wendy walk the way of the cross with her family, suffering much pain - of which, I know very few details - and what is most obvious to me is Wendy's desire to become more like Christ in the unexpected outcomes of her journey, and as a result, to become more like the woman He's always imagined her to be. Godspeed, dear friend

May I recommend you read Wendy's story of lament like a Psalm and listen with an open heart for any words Christ might be speaking to you? 

Good Friday, 2002  by Maggi Hambling  (source)  [h/t:  Art & Theology  blog]

Good Friday, 2002 by Maggi Hambling  (source)

[h/t: Art & Theology blog]

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
— John 19:30 (ESV)


It Is Finished

by Wendy Wall

It is finished. It is over. Life as I know it, the life of being his wife is done. Tears fall; my hair and my pillowcase are soaked with tears. My eyes are swollen, and tissues litter the bed. Here in the dark, I grieve.

My thoughts wander to a phrase I’ve heard often, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” I go there in my mind - to the foot of the cross. I sit there with Jesus, my Lord. He has breathed his last breath. He’d lived his life, and now there was nothing more he could do or say. So I sit at the foot of the cross, still alive, but with nothing left to give; nothing left to say. No hopes. No dreams. It is finished.

In a way, it’s beautiful to be so empty, so broken. There are no more valiant, heroic measures to try to save the marriage. No more prayers and hopes for a miracle. After twenty-five years, it is finished. No more praying through the book, The Power of the Praying Wife. No more begging for the truth and longing to be loved. No more working too hard to find a way to measure up. Always striving for more: more wealth, more power, more recognition, and more love. No more busy running here and there, over-committing to good things that distract and deflect from the best things.

But once it’s finished - this dream of the perfect family, the perfect ministry, the perfect job, and the perfect house - there’s no more striving. When it is finished, there is a time and a place to simply be. A place to stop. A place to walk and not run. A place for clarity. I can no longer win the race, so I now enjoy the moments I’m given. In a way, this life is full of more grace, of more beauty, and of sweet resignation.

At the foot of the cross, I mourn what should have been, but is no longer. On the cross, Jesus let his spirit go. With his last breaths, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. The NLT Study Bible has a note regarding this verse, John 19:30:

“Jesus called out in triumph and exhaustion that he had finished the work he set out to do. On the cross, he was not a victim, but a servant doing God’s bidding.”

So this practice, mentally going to the foot of the cross and sitting alone helps me move forward in my grieving journey. Here, at the foot of the cross, there is no posturing greatness. There’s only real, living-in-the-present grief. It’s a place where it’s OK to sob and cry out loud. It's a place of cleansing. It’s a place to leave all the pain, all the mistakes, all the unmet needs, and all the lies and betrayal. Christ also felt all the pain of separation here. This is the place to come to let it go. Only after it is finished and buried can there be the hope of resurrection. The hope of new life.

Wendy Wall.jpg






Wendy Wall enjoys exploring the beaches and trails of Juneau, Alaska with her dog Pandy. She loves spending time with her three adult children and their spouses. Currently, her greatest joy is being a Nana and spending time with her granddaughter. 

Once, ritual lament would have been chanted; women would have been paid to beat their breasts and howl for you all night, when all is silent.
Where can we find such customs now? So many have long since disappeared or been disowned.

That’s what you had to come for: to retrieve the lament that we omitted.
— Ranier Maria Rilke, "Requiem For A Friend"

(You can read all of the Retrieve Lament stories from previous years here.)

Lent Daybook, 33: Save us!

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. Join me, won't you?  (see previous Lent daybook 2018 posts here)

Is this your first time to practice Lent?  Here's a simple introduction: How we prepare for Lent.

*Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.*

by Kai Althoff ( source )  (H/T:  Global Christian Worship  blog)

by Kai Althoff (source)

(H/T: Global Christian Worship blog)

music for today: "Hosanna" Page CXVI (lyrics)


The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.”


”And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!’
— Psalm 118:22-26 * Mark 11:8-11

* Monday - Thursday Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2). On Fridays, I'll include the Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday which are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B).

Collect for Palm Sunday:

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer

   Stations of the Cross audio tour at the  Smithsonian American Art Museum  (SAAM), developed by Victoria Emily Jones at  ArtandTheology.org.


Stations of the Cross audio tour at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), developed by Victoria Emily Jones at ArtandTheology.org.


Spiritual practice for Holy Week:

Set aside time in the coming week to walk through a virtual Stations of the Cross at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, curated by Victoria Emily Jones (ArtandTheology.org).

I'm grateful to Victoria Emily Jones for this wonderful resource that allows us to engage in the historic Christian devotional practice of metaphorically travelling the road Jesus took toward the cross. Throughout the audio tour of the Stations of the Cross, sometimes referred to as Via Dolorosa (“Way of Sorrows”) or Via Crucis (“Way of the Cross”), Jones invites us to consider the gravitas of biblical accounts of Jesus' ministry and suffering through the lens of American artwork. With this fresh perspective, she's written and recorded an audio commentary for 18 artworks currently on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. If you happen to be near the museum you can use the resources from her site to find each station in the museum while listening to her downloadable audio commentary.

I'm looking forward to prayerfully walking the way of suffering through this virtual tour, and hope you'll join me. If you happen to be able to go to the actual museum, I'd love to hear about that too!

(see all Lent daybook posts from 2017 here)